Literacy at Cantell School is an integral part of our student’s development as we recognise that strong literacy improves life chances. The ability to read is a fundamental skill to learning success and we aim to develop confident and enthusiastic readers, irrespective of what level of reading skill they have when they join us.  

Through Lesson A activities and dedicated Literacy lessons, students: experience a rich and diverse selection of texts; they are challenged to approach texts critically and discuss a range of themes; they reflect on their own reading journey and how they can improve their reading; and, of course enjoy the library.  

In KS3, Literacy has a dedicated scheme of learning that complements the curriculum of English and other subject areas. The students have access to a modern, well stocked library with an experienced and knowledgeable Librarian to support their reading choices. Literacy lessons often take place in the Library, however, all students have access to this fantastic resource during social time in school. 

Inexperienced readers are supported not only in lessons but also via our intervention programme. Students identified as needing further support will be placed on one of our pathways. Those that need support to become confident, fluent readers practice their reading for meaning skills, twice a week, with of our 80 volunteers from Southampton University. Those that require more practice of the key skills of inference and close reading – skills that underpin the English curriculum – have targeted small group sessions once a week with our dedicated English specialists. Students whose reading inexperience links to a special education need, attend a reading group in the Support Hub facilitate by our SENDCO and LSAs. As a school we realise how important reading is to the life chances of our students and are in the process of training all our English teachers and LSAs to be teachers of phonics so that gaps in reading can be identified and addressed early. 

Teachers promote reading for pleasure (as well as reading to learn) by sharing their own reading choices and experiences. Every lesson is a lesson where reading is expected, encouraged, and rewarded. Through ongoing CPD, teachers are passionate about supporting readers, of all levels, to become more confident and independent readers. Students are challenged and rewarded for reading widely through events such as, Reading Day, World Book Day and a Cantell Millionaire Reader challenge. We continue to develop our reading strategy to build a community of critical, well read, lifelong learners.